Last weekend, we did a whole bunch of fall things, as you can see by scrolling down. One of those things, I said I’d blog about later: “Lastly, I’m trying to felt a wool sweater so I can make a hat. That post will come once I get done boiling the sweater on the stove. ” So here’s the scoop.
Last winter I found a cute pair of brown heels on sale which my ankles will only tolerate because they are Sofft brand with arch support.
The first time I wore them, they made me think of 1920’s era clothing, probably because of the flower accent on the straps. This summer I found a dress on clearance, I think for $8 at a boutique (that I’m usually afraid will charge me just to walk in the door), which was close enough to the dress I pictured in my head that could go with the shoes.
Fast forward to Halloween: I still hadn’t found a reason to wear the dress, or the shoes again for that matter. We just don’t dress up to go out (read: husband hates it), and if I wear a skirt to work, it MUST be long (since I crawl on the floor with kids) and heels don’t work when you are carrying musical instruments from classroom to classroom like a pack mule all day (and have already endured two ankle surgeries). I wanted a “just in case we get invited somewhere” costume and realized that I could just be a 1920’s girl for Halloween. At least the outfit would get one wearing that way. I felt I was missing something if it was going to be a costume.
So I did a little research and discovered that a hat was what I wanted. I knew I couldn’t afford to buy the one I really liked on Etsy (maybe minus the fans), and I didn’t figure it would get here in time anyway. So I decided to make one. I searched knitting patterns, but knew I didn’t have time to finish & felt one the “normal” way. My knitting skills just aren’t that polished yet.
Instead, I felted a sweater and made a hat out of that. $4.23 at the Salvation Army for a chocolate brown wool sweater, a futile run through the washing machine, at least a half hour boiling on the stove to felt it down, and a few mock ups made with fleece scraps, and here’s my brown wool cloche hat. My mock ups started out sort of a heart shape because it was a Vneck sweater and I thought I could get away with only one seam that way. But it was a little too Peter Pan like for my taste. After a few trials, I ended up with matching bell-shaped pieces that got sewn together and turned right side out. (Go figure that “cloche” translates to “bell”. Duh.)
If I’d had more time, I would have lined it, and it really needed to be stiffer (I tried, but it just wouldn’t shrink more. Go figure. ) so I could shape the back brim better (the ribbon is supposed to sit along the brim, but it’s sort of just floating as it is. But for a first try both felting, and hat making, and a quick effort at that, I am pleased. I can tweak this one, or try again. I’d still really like to knit one and then felt it so that I don’t have the side seams throwing things off. I also want to make some sort of flower accent that resembles the shoes.
We also, never wound up with a party to go to, so it was good that I didn’t spend all kinds of time trying to create or find a perfect hat, because it wouldn’t have been worn except into a tiny bar where I was one of 3 people dressed up at all in the whole place. I didn’t even bother with make up because we weren’t really going anywhere. I had it on only because I had gone through the effort of making the hat and I thought it deserved to be worn. I even had to change in the parking lot since we’d been traveling. I do wish I had a little better photos though. A wrap, some gloves, and jewelry would have been a nice touch too. I hope the rest of you who made costumes (or parts of them) had better venues in which to show them off!